How to Stay Motivated


When we have big, lofty goals such as a career break, it can be a roller coaster of emotions as you move towards achieving that goal. It’s really easy to get de-railed, frustrated, and to give up. How do you combat this in order to insure you hop on that plane, train, or boat and take off? By crafting your environment!

Start by surrounding yourself with like-minded positive influences to achieve your goal and remove yourself from negative influences. You won’t be able to accomplish your goal if you have people or things dragging you down. You need people and resources that will lift you up and inject you with inspiration. (You are already on the right track by being a part of Career Break 30.)

These influences can be human and non-human. Human influences are people you can interact with in a two-way conversation; mentors, family, friends, and online friends. Non-human influences are things like books, blogs, magazines, pictures, tv shows/videos or songs.



Use Other’s Motivation To Help You

While the career break, sabbatical, and long- term travel movement has been slow to garner attention in the United States, response is picking up based on some articles over the past few years in some of the more popular newspapers and magazines. Since the financial and housing crisis has hit and affected so many, people are finally starting to re-think their life choices. They are realizing that maybe the way most Americans live their lives isn’t the only option.

There are lots of people who have re-assessed their lives and what they want out of it. Reading other’s stories and the challenges they have dealt with along the way is an extremely helpful way of motivating yourself to take this next step.

Travel Blogs

Check out this collection of our favorite travel blogs dedicated to career break and around the world travel.

  • Travel Blogs – Travel blogs have taken off in popularity over the last decade. Here are some of our favorite blogs dedicated to RTW travel. If you want to be included, shoot us a message.

Travel Tips and FAQ’s

  • RTW Tips – If you just want short and sweet tips from people who have traveled the world, this is the place for you.
  • World Travel FAQ – If you’re on the fence about taking a round the world trip, you no doubt have tons of questions. Here’s an FAQ dedicated to long-term travel.


Join An In-Person Community

Online communities are great, but in person relationships are still the most powerful you can have. In just about every city around the world you can find fellow travel lovers. Get out and engage with those people on a similar journey. You will share your goals, dreams, and concerns with them. Verbalizing these things are therapeutic and will keep the dream alive; hearing it come out of your mouth is more powerful then simply writing it or thinking about it. Words bring action.

Where to find people in your community:
Meet, Plan, Go! Events: If you are located in one of the cities where we hold events or meetups, then be sure to attend our local meet-ups. Search for “Travel” in your town/city and see if there are any groups meeting in your area. If you didn’t find one in your city, then you can start your own – it’s simple to hold your own meet-up group.

Travel Massive: A global initiative to connect people in the travel industry locally, bringing together travel bloggers, brands, startups and socially engaged travelers

Couchsurfing: A worldwide network for making connections between travelers and the local communities they visit.


Eliminating Negative Human Influences

Crafting your environment is not only about surrounding yourself with people of similar mindsets and goals, it also means that you may have to change your relationship with people who don’t support your goals. There will be people in your life that don’t understand why you are doing this – then what do you do?


Simple – ditch the haters. OK – maybe it’s not that simple. What if they are friends or family? You don’t have to disown them – but consider not sharing this part of your life/plans with them. As long as you have other supportive people to share with, then you simply can change how and what you engage with the non-supportive people about.

Katie shares how she handled the reaction of unsupportive friends and where she found a new support system to lean on.

Read the complete article >> The Naysayers – When People Don’t Support Your Travel Dreams

Remember – staying motivated and achieving goals is about surrounding yourself with supportive people. One of the most important things you can do in order to stay motivated and moving towards your goal is to craft your environment to be supportive.



BOOKS: Here are some of our favorite career break and travel-related books.

Vagabonding by Rolf Potts

The Lost Girls by Jennifer Baggett, Holly Corbett, Amanda Pressner

Art of Non-Conformity by Chris Guillebeau

Escape 101 by Dan Clements and Tara Gignac

Escape from Cubicle Nation by Pamela Slim

Reboot your Life by Catherine Allen, Nancy Bearg, Rita Foley, Jaye Smith

• Career Break Travelers Handbook by Jeff Jung


 MAGAZINES:  Many magazines are for the armchair traveler. But these ones will speak more to the actual traveler ready to hit the road.

AFAR Magazine – This magazine can be found at most big bookstores. Its mission is to inform, inspire, and support experiential travelers of all kinds, from those seeking cultural and educational experiences to those interested in adventure or geo-tourism.



How Chris Gray Faust stayed motivated on her goal when surrounded by gray cubicle walls? By sprucing them up with reminders of her travels. Like her flag from the Krewe of Muses, a New Orleans Mardis Gras organization in which she is a member. And a motivational reminder Chris Guillebeau made at the World Domination Summit – “One Year from Now…What Will Be Different?”



A road trip isn’t the same without a great playlist to keep you going. So why not create a playlist before your break to keep your travel plans moving forward!

Some songs that get our travel juices going include Weather with You (Crowded House) – Southern Cross (Crosby, Stills & Nash) – Africa (Toto) – Sand in My Shoes (Dido) – and Island in the Sun (Weezer).

World Hum compiled a list of their Top 40 Travel Songs of All Time. And here’s a list of 30 Songs That Capture the Spirit of Travel.

So fire up your iTunes, start cranking some music, and motivation will be flowing in no time.



Sometimes it feels like your career break will never get here – but you can also use the time leading up to it to do some travel ‘test runs’ to stay motivated and dust off your travel skills!

>>Give Hostels a test run

>>Set up a Couchsurfing profile and account now and start accepting travelers into your spare room or couch so you can see how it works and build up some good travel karma before you leave!

>> 13 Ways to Beat the Planning Doldrums

>> Set up a Skype account and teach your family how to use it.  This way they’ll already know how to use it by the time you leave!

>> Have fun with it and use our travel training advice on How to Prepare Mentally for Long Term Travel






Career Break Guide Table of Contents

Meet Plan Go